“Please don’t address me as a ‘she’ or ‘her.’ Please refer to me as a ‘they’ or ‘them.’” This statement was told to me by a teacher at a local middle school. She has had several students communicate this desire to her and knows that many students at school are struggling with their gender identity. These students will dress and act and refer to themselves as either “gender-neutral” and others as the opposite sex of their sex at birth. This has become a very common experience.

This issue of “gender identity” was the topic of my paper that I (Rochelle) wrote for the Christian Worldview and Ethics course that I took in January as one of the requirements to complete my certificate from the Institute of Biblical Studies with Cru. It breaks my heart that students, ages 11 – 14, are struggling with and even are rejecting the beautiful persons God created them to be. They need to hear about how much God loves them and how precious they are to Him.

Although I am not allowed to teach about gender issues directly on the public-school campus (the Principal shared that restriction when a student brought up the issue), we are allowed to teach God’s Word in the club. We have focused on Jesus and how He heals, forgives, helps us with our hard times, and our temptations recently.  Besides our weekly meetings, we have special outreaches where we invite the whole school and the Gospel is shared.

Our recent Pizza Party was attended by 36 kids! Of those, 29 stayed and heard the message that Jesus is our Friend who is always with us and who loved us enough to die for us. Several students commented that they liked learning about Jesus and His salvation, and they expressed an interest in possibly coming to our Cru club. Please pray for more children to want to learn God’s Word. We want them to experience God’s love for them, as the young men and women God created them to be.

Middle School Challenges and Opportunities